USAT fronts a look at a trend of new cities hiring private companies to run their local government. Although it is common for certain city services to be privatized, a few cities have turned almost all of the bureaucracy to private companies. Advocates of this system say it is cheaper and more efficient, but some fear it could create a "shadow government."
The LAT fronts, and everybody else mentions, the FDA warning consumers not to eat commercially bagged fresh spinach because of a recent outbreak of E. coli. So far, approximately 50 people in eight (the WP says nine) states have gotten sick and one died as a result of the foodborne illness.
The LAT and WP go inside with the chief judge in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial saying in court that the former president was not a dictator. "You were not a dictator," the judge said, "however, the people or individuals and officials surrounding you created a dictator. It was not you in particular." The statement came a day after prosecutors at the trial demanded the judge resign because he had allowed "the defendants to treat the chamber as a political forum."
Everybody mentions the gunman in Montreal who killed one student and injured 19 people on Wednesday before shooting himself had a blog on a goth Web site. He wrote about his hatred of the world, as well as his love for guns and video games.
Over in the WP's op-ed page David Ignatius tells of his one-on-one interview with President Bush where the two talked about Iran. After the interview, Ignatius says he "came away with a sense that Bush is serious about finding a peaceful solution to the nuclear crisis." In his column, Charles Krauthammer analyzes one of Bush's public statements, which leads him to state, "the signal is unmistakable. An aerial attack on Iran's nuclear facilities lies just beyond the horizon of diplomacy." After writing about the possible costs and benefits of attacking Iran, Krauthammer concludes, "the decision is no more than a year away."